My name is Pam Oakes and I’m excited about my candidacy for Honorary Mayor of Land O’Lakes. Growing up in the upper Midwest as a rough and tumble tomboy, joining the Lansing (MI) Fire Department in 1983 seemed like a natural choice of vocation. Coined a “Trailblazer” by the Lansing State Journal as having qualified to become LFD’s first female, I was also among the first certified Paramedics in the state. Where once a travel destination for a frozen firefighter from Michigan seeking annual respite from the chill of winter, Pasco County’s population increased by 1 ‘baby boomer’ in 2004 when my dream to one day retire and live here became a reality.
These days, co-ed dorm life has given way to co-ed nude recreation. This once Fire Scene Commander has a new title ~ Drill Mistress as a Water Aerobics Instructor. Fire knots have given way to serong knots and powerlifting to Pilates. Life has taken me to a gentler, more peaceful place as I re-connect with my more feminine side after having worked so long in such a male dominated occupation. I find myself in a position in life where fire boots have given way to the occasional stiletto and I won the Humane Society’s Little Black Dress Contest in the 50+ in 2007. I was a regular contributor for local Nusa SUN Magazine for 2 years as their Health & Fitness writer. From pre-mature poor health to the near optimal health that I enjoy today, I’ve overcome many personal struggles. They say suffering is the most powerful agent of change and I chronicled my life’s journey through my column “What’s Up Now Pam?”. Dubbed the Nekkid Chef, I used humor, delicious healthy recipes and a stunning array of zany photos to bring my readers attention to wellness issues.
A champion for the less fortunate, I am co-founder and organizer of an annual, wildly popular, Clothes Closet event in my neighborhood which benefits the Sunrise Center of Pasco County. As a past Board Member for the Pasco Area Naturist Development Association, I helped to organize PANDA’s annual Food, Blood and Clothing Drive in 2011. In addition, I successfully co-wrote the now infamous Pasco County Special Events Grant awarded to the PANDA group who was promoting international naturist tourism to the area. An area that is rapidly becoming known internationally as the Naturist Capital USA, the experience was the birth of my renewed interest of International Tourism. The Pasco County Tourism Development Council along with the Wesley Chapel and Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce organizations agree. According to the Pasco County Tourism Development Office, the county’s tourism figures rose 19% in 2012. Subsequent to my efforts with PANDA, I co-founded the Pasco International Tourism [PIT] Committee with naturist advocate, John Walkinshaw. PIT is now a formal committee of the Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce. John and I currently make presentations to local Rotary’s and service groups bringing awareness to Pasco International Tourism and the niche Pasco County presents itself, with its diverse clustering of naturist and clothing-optional resorts, RV parks and campgrounds. Nakations (naked vacations) are on the rise according to the American Association of Nude Recreation (AANR). If correct, central Pasco County stands to catch a piece of the overall estimated 500 million dollar revenue derived annually from international tourist. Nusa SUN Magazine, the nation’s second largest and fastest growing naturist publication worldwide, brings together the largest nudist community in the world and now features my articles on Pasco International Tourism. I will explore such topics as:
- The blending of naturists and textiles in this small community
- Nearby amenities and attractions
- Why international visitors are a good target for marketing
- Connection with the U.S. federal international tourist effort
- How naturists help support the entire central Pasco region
- Interviews with business owners in Central Pasco County
- Overview of Pasco’s naturist community
- Advantages for choosing Pasco as travel destination for naturists and non-naturists
- Highlight the many special annual events that take place in the naturist communities
- How naturist friendly Pasco is
- There is something for all kinds of naturist visitors
To me, this all begs a difficult question: How can we develop our resources (tourism) while still protecting our parks and communities ~ our environment? We now know that for every 82 tourists, 1 job is created. But what kind of impact does that same amount of visitors have on the environment? Theodore Roosevelt once said “Conservation means development as much as it does protection, but the nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired in value.” So, in addition to awareness and education on the subjects of Tourism and Naturism, the Environment will be a concurrent theme during my tenure if I am elected as Honorary Mayor of Land O’Lakes. I will work closely with the Pasco County Recycling Coordinator regarding managed growth as it relates to the tourism industry.
I hope you will back up your support of my platform issues and my campaign in this, what I call “Dash for the Sash”, with a generous donation to the Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce in my name. I promise to run a transparent campaign.
By accepting my application for candidacy, the Honorary Mayor Race Committee has attested:
- That I am a member in good standing of the Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce
I have attested to the Honorary Mayor Race Committee:
- That I am of good character, having no involvement at any time in any act of moral turpitude
- That I have no criminal record and that no criminal charges are pending or threatened
- That I shall not perform any act or engage in any activity that is or could reasonably be characterized as dishonest, immoral or indecent.
- That I will abide by all Ground Rules for the Annual Honorary Mayor’s Race
Peace, Love, Unity & Respect,
“Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has”. — Margaret Mead